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Venezuelan Musicians Set Guinness World Record For Largest Orchestra

Venezuela's National System of Youth and Children's Orchestras has set the Guinness World Record for the world's largest orchestra, the country's government announced on Saturday, November 20. The performers were brought together by the country's publicly funded "El Sistema" program. The announcement came during a broadcast that showed Guinness World Records expert Susana Reyes announcing that the musicians successfully set a new record by playing Tchaikovsky's "Slavonic March" for more than five minutes.

President Nicolas Maduro showed a certificate from Guinness World Records recognizing the feat. "I can confirm that this attempt has been successful, congratulations," an official in charge of delivering the verdict announced on a screen during a ceremony at the El Sistema headquarters. "You are officially amazing."

About 12,000 musicians, including both children and adults, from the orchestra played for the record on November 13. The performers, aged between 12 and 77, wore black pants, white shirts and mandatory face masks.

In the end, Guinness World Records recognized only 8,573 of them as having set the record, according to the certificate issued by the organization.

Around 250 observers from the Venezuelan arm of the accounting company KPMG were present at the event to audit the effort. Each performer had to play an instrument for at least five minutes of the piece and not share instruments for the effort to succeed.

"This is a great achievement not just for El Sistema but for our country," said program director Eduardo Mendez. The group counts some 350,000 children and youths among its rank. They play in a network of 180 orchestras.

Previously, the record had been held by a Russian orchestra of 8,097 musicians who played the country's national anthem in St. Petersburg, Russia.

see/sri (AP, AFP, Reuters)

Source: DW